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'Poor repairs to blame for crash'

A SYDNEY court is expected to hear allegations that poor road repairs and guttering were to blame for a horror motorcycle crash which left a North Coast man with permanent brain damage.

Six years after he almost lost his life on the Nimbin Rd, 56-year-old David Pillinger is suing Boral and the Lismore City Council for negligence.

On January 22, 2006, Mr Pillinger was rushed to hospital in a critical condition after losing control of his bike near the northern entrance to Nimbin.

Mr Pillinger's legal team will allege that Boral failed to clear loose gravel from the Nimbin work site a month before the accident happened.

Heavy rain had washed the gravel across the road which, they alleged, was a result of the Lismore Council's failure to install adequate guttering.

She also claimed Mr Pillinger suffered significant injuries to his head, jaw and shoulder which left him permanently impaired.

Yesterday, Mr Pillinger's wife Helen told the Sydney Supreme Court she was his fulltime carer.

She said her husband, who was also being treated for cancer, was prone to angry outbursts and would often "fly off the handle" if he was around unfamiliar people.

The Pillinger's son Michael said he regularly drove his father to medical appointments and had to lift anything heavy.

When asked if he had seen his father perform physical work like "mowing the lawn" since the accident Mr Pillinger replied "yes".

He was then asked about a series of photographs he took of the scene the morning after the accident.

One defence lawyer suggested he had taken the photographs specifically so they could one day be used as evidence in court.

He asked Mr Pillinger if he had surveyed the gravel section, turned to his mother and said words to the effect of "whoever did this, did a s*** job" to which Mr Pillinger replied "That sounds like something I would say".

Mr Pillinger said he had travelled to the scene with his mother because he "wanted to know what had happened to dad".

He said had had taken the photos because he thought "we were going to lose him" and wanted to keep the pictures for his "personal collection".

The trial, which continues today, is expected to run for the next two weeks.

Topics:  road conditions


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